On GroupMe, Texts Knit Classes Together

GroupMe is a newer messaging app downloaded to many of Stratford’s junior and senior smart phones. It allows users to communicate with large groups such as members of an entire grade. High school students use this app as a means of communication through constant updates.

The app is more popular than regular group text messages because notifications can be turned off making it less annoying.  It also includes features such as “liking” messages that are found to be intriguing or funny, setting group photos, the use of personal profile pictures, and applying emojis.

“The GroupMe is a good thing because if we have it and everyone is included then everyone in our grade is invited to come to things, so it really just brings our grade closer,” senior Huntley Cowart said.

GroupMe guarantees that all people will get an invitation or be aware of a get-together if every member of a class is added into the group. But this messaging system is not perfect.

“The GroupMe does a lot of harm because people complain a lot GroupMe Fratabout other people and things in the message.  Also, there are too many sub GroupMe’s that talk bad about people in the class GroupMe,” Thomas Slocumb, junior, said.

A number of “sub” GroupMe’s have been made with the intent of excluding others. What began as a means of communication may turn into a form of cyber-bullying by only sharing information with a select few.

Even with these drawbacks, the app does offer a way for class members to bond. Some feel it has resulted in higher attendance at some school events due to the coercing of fellow students.

Cowart estimates that well over 100 daily messages are sent through the junior and senior GroupMe app. “Yes, some people keep talking to each other on it blowing up all of our phones. This is not such a big deal because I often just mute the group message, so it does not become distracting if you do not let it,” Cowart said.  “Take it to an individual text message if you are only talking to one or two people.”

— Brighten Donner contributed reporting and writing to this story.